Creating community engagement and innovative solutions to complex problems using design hacks
The CityLabs team are involved in innovation and the smart cities strategy at the City of Melbourne. The CityLab approach is not about jumping to solutions, it's about working with the community to understand future challenges, explore opportunities, and build and test solutions that will work for the people and the city. They work this way so they can move quickly, use minimal resources, and maximise the community's involvement. We have worked with them on a number of initiatives to involve the community and co-design future possibilities.
Our first involvement with the team was in the early stages of their appointment within the city and they wanted to use innovative techniques to demonstrate their effectiveness at involving the community in the co-creation of strategy for Melbourne’s future as a digital city within the Future Melbourne 2026 initiative.
Their challenge was to create an event that attracted the right calibre of individuals to participate in and attain outcomes that could be incorporated into the strategy building for the city for the next 10 years.
Our second involvement with the team addressed the challenge of bringing a wider understanding within the City of Melbourne internal stakeholders.
Our third involvement worked with Melbourne Museum to address the challenge of designing a new exhibit that focused on human well-being and would still be relevant throughout it's 15-year display.
For the Future Melbourne 2026 Initiative, Marketing Entourage, in partnership with BlueChilli, developed a design hack (what is a design hack?) day designed for individuals that had no experience of participating in ‘hacks’ but would also create the required outcomes for the city.
With very little time, Marketing Entourage helped market the event to the general public and entrepreneurial community and collaborated with the CityLab team to ensure that the day was resourced, including securing sponsorships and prizes, and appealing for people to participate.
The results were overwhelming with over 70 people participating on the day. Groups were formed organically the night before and the problem statement revealed. In 24 hours, including 6 hours of ‘hacking’ 14 teams had created their answers to “How to ensure Melbourne’s future as a digital city is sustainable and prosperous?”. The City of Melbourne was overwhelmed by the quality of the ideas and the solid outcomes achieved in such a short timeframe. Check out the video below to hear about some of the ideas on the day.
The second internal design hack day saw collaboration with many City of Melbourne internal stakeholders that had never worked through this type of process before. External judges were wheeled in to award winnings teams prizes for the best ideas for strategy initiatives for the city.
The third was a design hack night! An event scheduled as part of Melbourne Knowledge Week; we worked together with the CityLab and Melbourne Museum team to pull an all-nighter. Check out the video here: